The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper

Monday, July 21, 2003

News Index

Independence Day - Belgium

Brussels, Belgium - Today we celebrate Independence Day with our readers from Belgium.

After many years of territorial wars and religious disputes, Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands on July 21, 1831. Leopold I was chosen by the people as their ruler and a constitution was drawn up to recognize the newly independent land.

Belgium was involved in World War I and World War II, but has remained an independent country. The current leader is King Albert II.

In addition to Belgian waffles and chocolates, Belgium is also famous its Mannekin Pis statue. A block away from the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium one can find the Mannekin Pis. It is a small statue of a little boy peeing. He's high up on his fountain pedestal and his smallness takes many visitors by surprise. This 1619 bronze statue replaced the original from 1388 which was lost. It was based on a model by Belgian sculptor François Duquesnoy. Not far from the little boy is a museum which displays the 500 plus costumes that have been presented to the city over the years for dressing the boy. He is known by the people of Brussels as their oldest citizens.

A number of years ago, kitty-corner from the statue was a souvenir shop. The display in the window was of hundreds of Mannekin Pis' in all sizes and materials. The number with corkscrews was mind-boggling and, again, in all sizes.

Meanwhile Back in France

Wirtz, Virginia - Well, apparently we won't be sending any email to our French readers in the future. Instead we will be sending and receiving Courriel according to the latest news from France:

Associated Press, July 19, 2003 PARIS - Goodbye e-mail, the French government says, and hello courriel, the term that linguistically sensitive France has begun using officially to refer to electronic mail in official documents.

The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of e-mail in all government ministries, documents, publications and Web sites, the latest step aimed at stemming an incursion of English words into the French lexicon. The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology says Internet users in France are broadly using the term courrier electronique (electronic mail) instead of e-mail, a claim some industry experts dispute. Courriel is a fusion of the two words. "Evocative, with a very French sound, the word courriel is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed mail in English," the commission has ruled.

The move to ban e-mail was announced last week after the decision was published in the official government register June 20. Courriel has often been used in French-speaking Quebec, the commission said. The 7-year-old commission has links to the Academie Francaise, the prestigious institution that has been one of the main opponents of allowing English terms to seep into French.

During the recent war in the Middle East, The Daily Screw published some cartoons and stories that some readers felt were a bit offensive. Several readers felt there was no place for such material in this journal. We wish to point out that we don't have an opinion on the above news article. We publish it for informational purposes only.

However, please note: The words and terms art deco, art nouveau, fleur-de-lis, petite, and souvenir when referring to corkscrews will no longer be used in The Daily Screw.

Nor will we use Tire Bouchon. We will use:

News Index

©2003 Don Bull, Editor


The Virtual Corkscrew Museum